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Jacket 19 — October 2002   |   # 19  Contents   |   Homepage   |  Catalog   |
This issue of Jacket is a collaboration with Verse magazine

Johannes Göransson

The Seminal Union of Carvers

I’ve saved the best conspiracy theories for my own private genocide.
I’ve saved my own sweat for the trial, and the lingering doubts
for the lingering nights I spend in furious luxury.
I’ve saved my best thought for the last laugh of the century,
and my worst thought for the seconds after.
I’ve examined the bruise on your thigh and it looks nothing like your pet.

Beauty has become a riddle and the answer is grass.
Beauty was always a riddle, but now it’s doused in gasoline.

I was born to break and break to be born again.
In my great novel the protagonist rides through the desert
searching for a lost father or gold.
It’s a story of the death of narrative, the failure of history.
In my great debacle, all stories are starting to sound like Vietnam.
The enemies hide in bushes, the heroes go insane like helicopters.
I wrote the footnotes last night while the world was busy being victims.
It sounded more like a love poem than an explication of archaic usages.

It was the sickest excuse for love I’ve ever felt.
It was the second time I had ever been true.

The first time was when I joined the zealots plundering a home for the elderly.
The first time I was coping with peace by pretending it was war.
Peace has made a farce out of my masculinity.
What will war do to me now that it’s come at last?
What can I do with my devastation now that it has gone astray?
What can I do with my inmates now that the sheets tear every time,
now that the guards have grown jealous?

I’m stuttering into a phone. It doesn’t work. It’s not a phone.
I’ve come this far, almost all the way back to my master plan,
but I can’t take another lie. My name has been written on raw meat.
The old ways were so glorious in all their savagery,
so full of potential that we never took time to abuse.

I’ve watched the river run itself ragged against the rocks
and I’ve told myself, That’s not my army. But it is,
and the logging accidents pale in comparison to
the things that take place in my capital when everybody’s looking.
I believe in military might and the military might believes in
my hocus-pocus. They’ve never seen such illustrious lies.
They’ve never felt such an illustrious hammer on their heads.
They’ve never heard such a laugh.                     
They think the truth is buried somewhere in
the backyard of my body. They think one shovel will do.

Jacket 19 — October 2002  Contents page
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